LETTER FROM CANADA

The bewitching power of kittens

The arrow of history points towards greater respect for other life.

Illsutrative stock photoIllsutrative stock photo(Source: AP/TASR)

I just got a kitten. It’s not actually mine; I bought it for my daughter, who will be visiting in a few months and has decided a kitten will make Canada seem a little less foreign. But until then, the kitten and I will be sharing the same roof, and probably a few of the same groceries. So we’ll have to take the first uncertain steps towards peaceful cohabitation together as well.

The first thing I didn’t expect was the cost. When did everyone start demanding money for their unwanted cats? It used to be that kittens could be had for free, from people reluctant to get rid of them some less humane way. But yesterday, I paid $200 (€140) for a fluff-ball who is barely old enough to mew; I saw other kittens advertised on the Internet for over $1,000. At least, I suppose, if you pay money you are told what breed the cat is; when I was a kid cats were only white, black or tabby. Which naturally simplified the job of naming them (Smokey, Snowy, Stripey, etc.). This one, allegedly, is a Himalayan-Siamese cross, so I expect he will require a more sophisticated handle than Brownie.

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